Vroom. Vroom.

My car ain’t right. It’s making noises I can’t ignore and it would rather slow down then speed up. Not good for a lady who needs her car.

The really bad news is that I just got told my car needs about $2000 worth of help. The guy told me this with a nice little smile and a friendly chuckle. He also referred to me as ‘sweetie,’ which is just wrong coming from someone who wasn’t much older than 35.

This isn’t funny, mister! It’s friday night. I just finished a terrible week at work and I’m supposed to attend one of my BFFs surprise engagement party in 67minutes! And now you are telling me I’m supposed to fork over 2K to fix a car that is probably worth 3K?!?! No way Jose …. err Brian!

My first instinct was to cry, but I didn’t want Brian, the auto-mechanic, to have that pleasure. Then I thought about punching him, but court-appointed anger management classes would be hard to attend without a functioning vehicle. So, I did what most semi-irrational, overtired car owners do. I asked him, “Will it blow up if I drive it home?”

He looked surprised. Then he smiled and laughed. Can you believe this guy?

“Ummm… I’m being serious. I think I’m going to ask you to put it back together. I’ll pay you the $100 for the diagnostic evaluation. Then I will drive it home as long as you tell me it won’t blow up. Also, do you have the number of a tow truck in case I don’t make it?”

My car made it home, although it sounded like a freight train and refused to accelerate much beyond 30mph.

I made this recipe a few weeks ago, but it seems fitting for a my-car-is-being-stupid kinda day. It’s lavish. It’s comfort food. It will make you fat. It will make you happy. It’s the exact kind of food that can help you (momentarily) forget about Brian, the smiley auto-mechanic. I’m off to go car-shopping now. Fear not- I’m taking the bus this time.

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
Source: Pioneer Woman
Printable Recipe

8oz jumbo pasta shells*
30oz ricotta (whole milk or part skim)
8oz parmesan cheese, grated
1/2C grated romano cheese
1 egg
12 leaves basil, chopped or chiffonade
salt, pepper
2T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2lb Italian sausage (or ground beef)
1/2C red wine
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
1T sugar
1/2tsp salt
2T minced parsley (flat leaf Italian)

Cook pasta shells for half the duration the box suggests – you want partially cooked noodles. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in pan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for additional minute. Add italian sausage, breaking it up as it browns. Once cooked, add red wine and let cook for additional minute. Add in crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 to 45minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper if desired at this point.

While sauce is simmering, make the filling. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, 4oz parmesan, romano cheese, egg, salt, pepper, basil, and 2T of parsley. Stir until combined.

Spoon a layer of sauce onto bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Taking 1 shell at a time, fill with cheese mixture. Place cheese-mixture side down into the baking dish. Repeat until the cheese mixture is gone. Top the cheese shells with the remaining sauce. Top/Sprinkle with the remaining 4oz of parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.

*I used an entire 16oz box and still had filling left. Maybe I didn’t stuff my shells enough?

This is good… like REALLY good.


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